What is Voice Search and How Has It Changed SEO?

More than 50% of American adults use voice search on a daily basis. You probably fall into this category, too. Think about all the times you asked Siri for the closest pizza shop or “beaches near me.” 


Voice-activated devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo and virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have gotten great at understanding that using them feels almost natural. We can ask them for information, quick answers, and even assistance controlling our smart houses without lifting a finger.


But what does this mean for people working in search engine optimization (SEO)? Quite a bit, actually. People use voice search differently from how they type out queries. Instead of short, choppy keywords, they ask complete questions or speak in full sentences. This shift means that, as SEO experts, we need to rethink our keyword strategies to keep up with this trend. This article teaches how voice search is changing SEO and keyword monitoring.


What Is Voice Search Optimization?

Voice search optimization (voice search SEO) involves tailoring your website and content to improve visibility and ranking in voice search results. The aim is to address the conversational nature and nuances of how people naturally speak when using voice search instead of typing queries into a search engine.


How Does Voice Search Impact Traditional SEO? 

Voice search is a fundamental change in how people find information. Here are a few reasons why it matters:

  • Convenience and Speed: Voice search allows users to obtain information quickly and efficiently without typing, making it ideal for multitasking or obtaining information on the go. This convenience factor appeals to a growing number of users, particularly mobile users who prefer speaking over typing on small devices.
  • Accuracy and Natural Language Processing (NLP): With advancements in NLP, voice search has become incredibly accurate in understanding and processing natural language queries. This means users can speak naturally, as they would in a conversation, rather than thinking about how to phrase their queries in a search-engine-friendly way.
  • Changing User Behavior: The advent of voice search is significantly altering how people search for information. Whereas traditional search queries were often short and keyword-driven, voice search queries are longer and more conversational. This shift necessitates a change in SEO strategies, with an emphasis on long-tail keywords and natural language to match the conversational tone of voice queries.

How to Optimize Your Content For Voice Search 

Traditional SEO practices focused on short, specific keywords. However, voice search is pushing us towards more natural, conversational language. Here are a few tips for optimizing your content so you can rank in voice search results.


1. Use Long-Tail Keywords

People are more likely to use long and descriptive keywords for voice searches. 


For example, instead of searching for “pizza shops in London,” one might search for “Where can I get great chicken pizza near me?” These queries might not have as much search volume as single keywords, but because they’re more specific, they usually drive more conversions. 


Consider incorporating longer and more specific keywords in your content to increase its chances of showing up in voice search results. 

2. Create Content For Featured Snippets

More than 40% of voice search results are from featured snippets. Featured snippets are selected search results featured on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. Here’s an example: 

google search featured snippet

If you want your content to appear in voice search results, you need to increase its chances of ranking as a featured snippet. To do this: 

  • Provide clear and concise answers to common questions in your content
  • Ensure that your content is well-organized and easy to read
  • Use bullet points, tables, and lists to structure your information

3. Optimize Your Content For Local Search Results

Voice searches often have a local intent. People use voice search to find services, restaurants, and businesses nearby. 


Queries like “Best dentist near me” or “Where’s the nearest coffee shop?” are common. Optimizing for local SEO, including claiming your Google My Business listing and using location-based keywords, can help you rank in voice search results. 


In addition, consider investing in a local rank tracker like Keyword.com to monitor your keyword ranking in different geographical locations. 


4. Include Natural Language

Voice search queries tend to be longer and more conversational. For example, a user might ask, “What are the best places to get pizza in New York City?” instead of typing, “Best pizza NYC.” This shift means that SEO strategies need to adapt to include these longer, more natural phrases.


Start incorporating conversational questions and phrases into your keyword strategy. Think about how people speak naturally and what questions they might ask related to your business, then create content that answers those questions naturally and directly.


You can also use tools like AnswerThePublic and AlsoAsked to find common questions related to your keywords.


5. Analyze Voice Search Data 

Google Search Console and other analytics tools can provide insights into how people find your site. Look for patterns in the queries that lead to your site and identify which ones might be coming from voice searches.


Review your keyword performance data regularly and adjust your strategy accordingly. If certain conversational phrases or long-tail keywords are performing well, consider creating more content around those topics.


Stay Ahead By Tracking Your Local SEO Performance with Keyword.com

After you’ve optimized your website for voice search, the next step is to track its success. This is where Keyword.com comes in handy. It will help you monitor your keyword performance accurately for a more effective voice SEO strategy. Furthermore, collaborating with digital marketing agencies in Singapore, such as Impossible Marketing, can give you extra strategies for optimizing your rankings efficiently.


About the Author

When speaking fails, Nadiah writes. If she’s not writing, she’s either searching for novels to read, psychological thrillers to watch, or inline skating tricks to learn.